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If I Had To Live My Life Over


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In memory of Erma Bombeck.



I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the GOOD living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I wasn't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment realizing that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's" and more "I'm sorry's" but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.....look at it and really see it .. live it ... and never give it back.

Here is an angel sent to watch over you

You all are in my thoughts today.


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Hi, Kim,

Erma Bombeck was a cancer survivor, but she did not die as the result of cancer. She died as the result of kidney failure brought about by advanced Polycystic Kidney Disease. She had to have one kidney removed because it became too large to fit the abodminal cavity, and the other eventually failed as a result of too many cysts and not enough normal functioning kidney tissue. Dialysis is not a good long term fix for those who have PKD, because many also have something known as "fragile artery syndrome"; the veins don't hold up well with shunts. Sometimes they get lucky, and are able to have transplants, but this doesn't happen often. After renal transplant folks have to take immune suppressors, and sometimes develop cancers as a result of that therapy. Other organs (liver, spleen, pancreas, brain) are involved in PKD as well.

It doesn't really matter what took the life of Ms. Bombeck. What she had to say while living was wisdom couched in good humor, and her death was a heartbreaker no matter the cause...

Fay A.

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Do you know anything about shunts in the Bronc. Tubes? Due to all the radiation I have had, they want to put a shunt in one of my bronc tubes. The Pumonist and my Onc. said that radiation shrunk one of my broc tubes. Please let me know.

Warm Regards :):)


P.S. I had Chemo all day yesterday and haven't had a chance to PM you, I will though.

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Hi, Karen,

First off I have to let you know that I'm not a doctor, nor do I work in the medical profession at all. I know about PKD, because I have it, and Erma Bombeck became my "hero" shortly after I was diagnosed because she wrote about and talked (intelligently) about having PKD,as well as the breast cancer she developed later on. Re: the shunts, I haven't heard about shunts used in the capacity you've described, but I have known several people who have had stents put in to hold things open, both airway and esophageal. I have a friend who developed strictures a few years after having had radiation and chemo. She needed stents, had them put in, and is doing fine. I'm pretty sure that was 3 years ago. (She's a 5 year survivor now). I'll try to find out what I can on the subject for you, though.

Hope you are safe from the fires, Karen. The smoke isn't too bad up here where I am, but I can still feel it when I breathe.

Fay A.

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Erma Bombeck was a great life saver for me at a time in my life when everything seemed so hopeless. I was so depressed at the time, I couldn't even stand to be around myself. Anyways, somehow I ended up in the public library trying to find some inspiration and I came across her books. I checked out a couple and went home to read them. The stories she tells of her life and the way she saw it was amazing. They were so funny to me that I actually had to stop reading many times because of laughing so hard (and out loud) that I couldn't see through the tears in my eyes! My family looked at me like I was crazy! I found out she had passed in a tribute to her (I think by her husband) in one of the books. I would recommend her books to anyone who needs a lift!

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Every time life would throw me another character building episode I would ask myself "How would Erma handle this one?" When I was diagnosed with PKD, then 3 years later a premalignant breast condition that resulted in bilateral mastectomies, 4 years later Sjogren's syndrome, then 4 years after that Lung Cancer at the age of 44. Her humanity and humor helped me get through some very rough times...The alleged "benign brain tumor and left adrenal tumor" has me a feeling a bit stressed... Just got to get through this last round of chemo and see where things stand then. The first few days after chemo always leave me feeling a bit edgy.

Fay A.

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